President launches pulse polio immunization programme
President Pranab Mukherjee has launched the Pulse Polio Immunization(PPI) Programme by administering polio drops to children at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
It was launched by President ahead of the National Immunization Day which is observed on 18 January.
PPI Programme is a Government drive to sustain polio eradication from the country. As part of it children less than 5 years of age are given polio vaccine drops.
- Since 1995, India has been implementing the Pulse Polio Immunization Programme.
- On 27 March 2014, India and 7 other Asian countries were declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
- 7 other Asian countries are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives and Myanmar.
- It should be noted that WHO declares any country polio free if no case is reported for three consecutive years.
Key facts about Polio
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children below age of 5.
- Transmission: The virus is transmitted from person-to-person. It mainly spreads through the faecal-oral route (e.g. contaminated water or food). After entering body, it multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
- Symptoms: Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In some cases, it causes permanent paralysis. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization.